Children of the Revolution

Three guests explore how their family trees were shaped by political turmoil and violence, discovering sometimes unexpected ancestry along the way.

Lupita Nyong’o learns the full story of her father’s struggle for democracy in her native Kenya — including his imprisonment and torture — and then follows his line back to grapple with the complicated choices made by her great-grandfather, who served with a British-run police force predating Kenya’s independence.

Carmelo Anthony unearths the ancestry of his activist father, tracing his roots back to Puerto Rico — where Carmelo himself has become socially engaged — all the way back to a third great-grandmother who was brought to Puerto Rico as a slave during a revolution in Venezuela (and bearing DNA that indicates she was likely the child of her owner).

Ana Navarro learns that her father, who fled from Nicaragua in 1980 as a consequence of his political ties, was not the first governmental figure in her family: her second great-grandfather came to Nicaragua as a diplomat from Spain, marrying a woman whose father was disowned for abandoning his father, a mulatto born into slavery in Costa Rica.

Along the way, each guest comes to realize that history is more complex, and more personal, than they ever thought.

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About Season Four

Season four of Finding Your Roots series moves fluidly from Asia and Africa to Europe and the Americas, uniting us all through emotional moments that enrich and enlighten—encouraging us to look at our world through a wider, more inclusive lens. Learn more here.

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